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Posted: September 6th, 2023

Despite increased abilities across developmental realms

Despite increased abilities across developmental realms, including the maturation of pain systems involving self-regulation and the coordination of affect and cognition, the transition to young adulthood is accompanied by higher rates of mortality, greater engagement in health-damaging behaviors, and an increase in chronic conditions. Rates of motor vehicle fatality and homicide peak during young adulthood, as do mental health problems, substance abuse, unintentional pregnancies, and sexually transmitted infections.

Describe how the advanced practice nurse can play a role in improving the health of young adults through preventive screening and intervention. Word limit 500 words. Please make sure to provide citations and references (in APA, 7th ed. format) for your work.

As young adulthood is a critical period for the development of health-damaging behaviors, advanced practice nurses (APNs) have a significant role to play in improving the health of young adults through preventive screening and intervention. The APN can use various strategies to engage young adults in health promotion and disease prevention activities, including screening for risky behaviors, assessing health status, providing health education, and referrals to specialized care.

One of the primary roles of the APN is to conduct preventive screening to identify health risks and promote early intervention. The APN can use various screening tools, such as the AUDIT-C questionnaire for alcohol misuse and the PHQ-9 for depression, to identify young adults at risk of health-damaging behaviors and mental health disorders (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, n.d.; Kroenke et al., 2001). By screening for these behaviors, APNs can provide targeted interventions and referrals to specialized care, such as addiction counseling and mental health treatment, to prevent or manage health problems.

Moreover, APNs can also use a comprehensive health assessment to identify young adults’ health status and risks. This assessment can include the evaluation of the young adult’s medical history, family history, lifestyle behaviors, and psychosocial health status (HHS, 2018). Based on the results of the assessment, APNs can provide targeted health education and interventions, such as weight management programs, smoking cessation counseling, and contraception counseling.

Another important role of APNs is to provide health education to young adults. This education can include promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors, such as healthy eating, regular physical activity, and adequate sleep. It can also involve providing information about safe sex practices, sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention, and contraceptive use. Additionally, APNs can educate young adults about the risks associated with alcohol and drug use, and provide resources for addiction treatment and support (National Institute on Drug Abuse, n.d.; CDC, 2021).

Finally, APNs can refer young adults to specialized care, such as counseling or medical treatment. For example, if a young adult screens positive for depression, the APN can refer them to a mental health specialist for treatment. Similarly, if a young adult has a substance abuse problem, the APN can refer them to a substance abuse counselor or addiction treatment center (National Institute on Drug Abuse, n.d.).

In conclusion, advanced practice nurses have a critical role to play in improving the health of young adults through preventive screening and intervention. By using various strategies, including screening tools, health assessments, health education, and referrals to specialized care, APNs can help young adults avoid health-damaging behaviors and manage chronic health conditions, ultimately promoting long-term health and well-being.

References:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2021). Alcohol and Public Health: Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). (2018). Young Adult Health: Overview and Resources. Retrieved from https://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/adolescent-development/young-adult-health/index.html

Kroenke, K., Spitzer, R. L., & Williams, J. B. (2001). The PHQ-9: Validity of a brief depression severity measure. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 16(9), 606-613.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (n.d.). Screening for Alcohol Misuse. Retrieved from https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/screening-tools

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/princip

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